A little bit of this and a little bit of that ...
• Is it just me, or is the new water treatment plant debate one of the most controversial issues in Rifle in years? Not that reasoned debate is ever a bad thing, and so far I think that's what's been happening, at least at public City Council meetings. On the Telegram website, we've asked what options among several you might favor. Not that an online survey like this one is EVER something you want to rely on, but most people say they want to recall any councilmember who favors raising water rates to help pay for a new plant. We'll see. ...
• I'm not sure, but our recent break from the sweltering temperatures, with welcome rainfall (I recorded .75 of an inch in two days in my little back yard rain gauge), may have given people a false sense of security concerning wildfires. I thought Gov. John Hickenlooper was wrong to lift his statewide fire ban, but was pleased to read neither the White River National Forest nor Garfield County followed suit. I think it's going to dry out again very quickly, but I hope I'm wrong.
• I tend to be cautious - OK, I'll say pessimistic - when it comes to the upcoming Denver Broncos season this fall. I'm a nearly lifelong fan and Colorado native, so I want our team in orange and blue to do well. But look at the facts: a 36-year-old quarterback who will be in the Hall of Fame after he retires, but who underwent four neck surgeries in the last year or so, hasn't thrown a pass in a game in more than a year, behind an offensive line that gave up tons of sacks last year. Granted, that was a totally different and less talented quarterback behind that line, who did work many miracles, too. But I'm just worried one hard hit on Peyton Manning and it's all over for the Broncos. Doctors can say otherwise, but there's no guarantee.
Then there's the defense that was basically atrocious for much of last year, a questionable draft, and most importantly to me, the second toughest schedule in the NFL. I'm sorry, but I just don't see a lot to get excited about. Unless Manning pulls off a great comeback and is the quarterback he was two or three years ago, the defense is in the top 10 and many of the 11 Pro Bowl QBs they face fall on their face or just don't play. Remember, they won the division with an average 8-8 record. That's what I think, anyway.
• The cartoon strip "Shoe" had a good one the other day. If you don't read it, it's loosely centered around a newspaper written by birds that talk. Seriously. They live in treetops and the newspaper is called "The Treetop Tattler." Anyway, the editor was typing an editorial with the words: "Maybe what this country needs are more open minds and fewer open mouths." I wholeheartedly agree.
This kind of gets back to my first thought about reasoned debate. I don't see that much anymore, at least on the national stage, even at the state level. Even among Broncos fans, especially if the subject is that quarterback from last season.
I'm not sure why, and maybe I've just missed it. I hate to think we've just stopped compromising and can only - loudly - blame the other guy when something bad happens or a decision goes against our own preset views.
Someone once said something along the lines of "politics is the art of compromise." Or someone should have said that. To put it another way, in the words of the recently deceased Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" Imagine what we might be able to accomplish if we didn't waste time shouting and blaming one another.
Just a few quick scribbles on things rattling around my mind ...
Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.